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Day 45 - Quirks, Addiction & Contradiction


Fashion


I think I should go and live in isolation or some remote island far far away from the world of fashion magazines and online shopping. I am unstoppable. It's frustrating to have so many wants ... not needs ... wants! Move over Roxy (since they still do not have the shorts available in my size!) I have a new obsession - Moschino leggings! Now, I already checked and these are available in my size but my dilemma is that they are not worth the price and are so eye-catching that I doubt I will be able to wear them more than once. I think it's again time to sing, "When you are greedy and you know it - Clap you hands - Clap ... Clap ... Clap ... " (I and my brother always sing this and mock ourselves whenever we have an uncontrollable urge to splurge!)

Life

I realize with every passing day that I am probably a walking-talking opposite of my childhood. Recently I have been highly praised for my innovative cooking (as you all already know ... hehe) and that reminded me how all throughout my early 20's my mom kept pestering me learn cooking or help her out but I wouldn't even step into the kitchen, ever! And look at me now, you can't get me out of there! Same goes with exercising, I simply never got-off-my-big-ass and was permanently glued to the television . Today, I am the Queen of the gym, so-to-say! Last but not the least, in spite of being a vegetarian I didn't eat 90% of the vegetables or cuisines. I think it would be safe to say that I only ate Potatoes, in all forms and shapes, which is definitely not the case any more. So, the morale of the story is don't judge a person on the basis on his/her childhood habits. You'd be surprised that People change, and how!

This & That

I have this really silly quirk. I can't have almost finishing toiletries in my washroom. For example, when a shampoo, body wash, etc. are almost empty (like they would last you ... say for 3 or 4 more washes) I cannot stand them and have to get rid of them as-soon-as-possible! So, often I end up using it all up in one wash. I am toooo eager to open up the new bottle but ... I refuse to throw the old one away until it is absolutely empty and of course I won't open the new one till I have thrown the previous one. Do you catch my drift here? I am just curious if I have this quirk in common with anyone else out there? Holler me ... if I am not alone ...

Week 7 | Day 45 | 30th September 2009

Day 44 - Young Fabulous In-Love and Broke


Borrowed from Le Love

Fitness

The other day I was on the Elliptical at the gym, eyeballing everyone who was there (noticing in case anyone was working out harder than me so that I could mentally compete with them - give myself a challenge!). That's when I noticed two young girls enter whom I thought were kinda-fit. Later I realized they were not just any girls, they were mother & daughter. And the mother (who was very fit considering she has a teenage girl) was showing her daughter how to use the machines at the gym. I was so impressed that I am quite sure I pumped up to the highest-level-possible on the Elliptical, after viewing them. I found that very sweet and admirable.

Food

I made this yummy salad today (at least I found it yummy). Juicy tomatoes marinated in White Wine Vinegar (for an hour) topped with lightly sautéed chopped cabbage, peas and corn and eventually garnished with spicy yellow pepper and finely chopped Avocado. It was mighty colorful and deliciously low-calorie :o)

Life

I just wanna share a small but important lesson I learnt from my young cousins many years ago (when they were not-even-really-10 years old). They are born and brought in the West, hence have a prominent accent while speaking Hindi or English. All the adults in my family, including all the uncles and aunts (except my Dad) enjoy imitating people and harmless humor every-now-and-then. But of course when the humor is directed on the children of the family, it's not taken very-well. I didn't have the tactical knowledge of defending myself politely, but I learnt it from these boys. Whenever anyone would mock their accent, they very politely told them," Why are you laughing at us? We were not born in India so it's natural for us to have an accent. Don't laugh at us, it's rude!" The first time I heard them say that, I was shocked and impressed! ... and later I followed their suit ...

Week 7 | Day 44 | 29th September 2009

Day 43 - Work in Progress


Photography courtesy Ashish Rastogi
Title by the photographer - 'Handicapped by love'
Fitness

We are 6 weeks already into the Project 8X 8 ... Curious about my progress? Well, I have lost just-about 5 pounds and have a little over 3 pounds more to go ... and only 2 weeks at hand. I am still optimistic. I just might make it ... However, the scale doesn't tell how strong I have become, or if my endurance level has gone up, or if my fat % is going down, or I if I have lost inches ... Com'on people! I am NOT making excuses for myself ... just stating some facts which I have learnt over the years (by turning pages to Fitness magazines & Health books day-and-night!). P.S. Muscle weighs heavier than fat ... so one should also take that in account. No! Not another excuse, absolute truth ... but I really really hope that I am able to shed all eight pounds in next 2 weeks! else I will be a little disappointed in myself *sad.face*

Life

Last week I think I got the best compliment, since I have started writing the blog. Don't worry people, I appreciate all your comments and feedback (specially since its all positive :P) but Veronica said the sweetest thing to me ... Firstly she had never read my blog until recently, as in her own words, "I am not much of a reader of anything but I enjoy reading your blog." She said she finds it funny and entertaining and the best part I liked was, "even if someone doesn't agree with your point of view, they want to read it for sure as it is well said". I thought that was the best compliment I have received on my writing since forever! It definitely made my week, I am still high on it :P

This & That

I stumbled upon this really cool website (Click here) where people have written Six-Word-Memoirs. It is like reading people's Facebook Status Updates or Tweets but only in 6 words this time. It's interesting and fun to read all the random stuff people have to say ... Check it out if you have time-on-hand!

Week 7 | Day 43 | 28th September 2009

Day 42 - Om Sweet Om



Photography courtesy Reed Rahn
Health
Remember a couple of days ago I was mentioning that Yoga is improving my body image? Now I have proof for my statement! I read in the Fitness magazine that a study at Berkeley found that women who practiced yoga have a better body image than those who just do cardio - perhaps because the mind-body experience 'helps squelch negative thoughts'. There you go, enroll in an Om School, ASAP! *wink*

Fitness
I am sure everyone is now well familiarized with my world-class trainer - Veronica. She kicks my butt ... but then ... when I see results - I thank her! My least favorite exercise is Squat Thrusts. I hate them from the bottom of my heart and Veronica loves them! On Friday she nagged me to do 5 sets of 15 repetitions (Oh! God. It was just horrible!!!). I was swearing at her in my mind ... I even told her, "I am saying really- really bad things to you in my mind." But she didn't care and was hell bent on those bloody squat-thrusts!

However, whenever I have to do any exercise which I absolutely detest I close my eyes and try and focus on some super-fit woman I might have seen at Yoga class or gym. Then I bring alive a mental image of her abs-and-arms-and-legs! (Don't worry I am straight, just obsessed with fitness!) It does help. I get through the pain slowly ... but surely...!

Shopping
I am addicted to Shopping! I am, really! So now summer is over and fall is here ... so I am all ga-ga over the fall collection. Damn you! online shopping and Outlet Malls. How am I supposed to resist things when they are dirt cheap and sooooo fabulous!

Last week on an Indian Chat Show (Tere Mere Beach Mein) they had invited two celebrities who used to be obese at one point and now were fit. One of the guest was Sonam Kapoor, an Indian Actress (I luuurrvveee this picture of hers) who weighed about 198 pounds (90kgs) at one point in her life, and todays weighs about 124 pounds (56kgs). She said that even she is addicted to shopping coz now she can fit into all these tiny-miny clothes and can't get enough of that. I can totally relate to her. I can't stop buying clothes mostly coz I can't believe I can fit into them! I know it's been couple of years now but still ... I still can't believe ! (It's such an awesome feeling). I, probably, will have to sign up for SA (Shopaholic Anonymous) soooooon - 'Hi! My name is Tanvi and I am a Shopaholic, not yet sober' :P

Week 6 | Day 42 | 27th September 2009

Day 40 - What's Your Raashee?


Film Review

I am right out of the cinema and this review is fresh-out-of-the-oven. As always I like to give my verdict first and then explain why. So, I liked the movie but ...

It was a sweet, clean, entertaining movie (based on the novel 'Kimball Ravenswood' by Madhu Rye) with a potential to be excellent but unfortunately had some glitches. For the benefit of my non-Indian readers, I am talking about a Hindi movie which released this weekend - What's your Raashee? - (Raashee means Sun Sign in hindi). It's a story about an eligible bachelor, Mr. Yogesh Patel (from Chicago) in search for his prospective wife (through arranged marriage). He decides to meet 12 girls of 12 different sun signs and hopes to fall in love at-first-sight with one of them.

While the story is engaging and the performances believable, the duration of the movie is one of it's adversities. The story could have easily been said in under 2 hours (the movie is 3.5 hours long). The screenplay is very weak and doesn't bind the movie well. What I didn't understand is what was the criteria of choosing the 12 girls by the match maker (Uncle of Yogesh). It seemed he just did a lucky draw and picked out 12 different girls from each sun sign. While Ashutosh Gowariker (Director) takes his sweet time to build up the suspense, yet the climax seems rushed and unsatisfactory.

The music is strictly average as well. Mostly when you walk out of the movie there is one song that stays with you and you want to hear it on your way back home. Unfortunately, the album lacks any such track. Although some of the songs had sweet melody but nothing that I would wanna download on my iPod/iTouch! Oh! and the choreography of the songs was just terrible except the one with Mallika choreographed my Terence Lewis.

Priyanka's performance was first rate. I personally liked the character of Anjali (the first girl, Yogesh meets) the most. She really got under the skin of this character, I thought. However, the character of some of the other girl's she plays, are underwritten (like Kajal - the-college-going-bubble-gum-chewing-girl or Bhavna - the astrologer). The songs act as a hinderance in story. You never get to know the character because they always burst into a song (except Anjali & Jhankhana).

Harman Baweja was extremely likable and convincing in the character of Yogesh Patel. A much better performance in comparison to his previous movies. Everyone else was, I guess, appropriate for their parts!

Bottom line - Watch it only if you have 3.5 hours to waste, else wait for the DvD so that you can forward the annoying songs!

Week 6 | Day 40 | 25th September 2009

Day 39 - Positively Positive


Photography Courtesy Norman Jean Roy

Fitness

Can I please! again emphasize on 'how amazingly amazzzzing Yoga is'. It has changed my body (I have a much better posture now), changed my body image (I don't think my body sucks any more), made me calmer and more in control of my nerves (well ... you just have to believe me on this one :P), improved my flexibility (I can do some of those crazy postures now and feel like a superwoman!) ... and I can go on ... and on ... and on. However, I do believe one should do all forms of Yoga to reap all it's benefits.

Life

I was talking with my brother today and somehow we started discussing Positivity in life, how everyone keeps saying "See positive in every situation". I understand that it is a reflex reaction to pacify the person who is probably complaining about something in life or narrating a remorseful story. But wouldn't it be nice to have someone who would listen without giving you his/her pearls of wisdom? Of course you should see the positive in every situation but all I am saying it that 'seeing positive' doesn't necessarily erase the negative. Admit it! Even you would like have the positive without actually having to 'find it' in unfortunate circumstances! I believe a realistic person would acknowledge the negative and nonetheless move on with life ... I guess, seldom it just-so-happens that it bugs me when people say "Be Positive" (like there is another option!?!).

Health

Last month I read an article, "Why exercise won't make you thin" in Times Magazine, on a friend's suggestion (Click here to read the article). The basic premises for the article was as follows:

"The basic problem is that while it's true that exercise burns calories and that you must burn calories to lose weight, exercise has another effect: it can stimulate hunger. That causes us to eat more, which in turn can negate the weight-loss benefits we just accrued. Exercise, in other words, isn't necessarily helping us lose weight. It may even be making it harder."

I cannot believe they would go ahead and print this. Don't they realize that people would 'actually' read it and stop exercising (anyways, everyone is always looking for an excuse to stop working out)? Are you kidding me? How stupid does one have to be to not know that exercise alone cannot make you thin? Of course, you will get hungry because you have finally decided to move your lazy ass and do something about your health. They should have also informed that how eating more, yet healthy can help you loose weight too? So it's a perfect alliance = Exercise > Increased Hunger > Increase in # of meals > Healthy Fit Body! But of course, that wouldn't attract the attention of people buying their magazine in a jiffy (before they board their bus/subway/train etc.) now would it? 'Don't exercise - It's of NO HELP!' - Now that makes a good sellable headline! Shame on you, Times!

Week 6 | Day 39 | 24th September 2009

Day 38 - Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.


Borrowed from Self Magazine




Fitness. Fitness. Fitness.

Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.
- Lance Armstrong

Okay, let's get back to the basics. This post is specially dedicated to anyone who is hopping-on-my-fitness-bandwagon or is trying to make a fresh start (yet again!). If you have been regularly reading this crazy blogging marathon of mine, you already know everything! (Well, at least everything I know, and that is A LOT). However, since someone asked me for help, I shall provide them just that (because I am trying to change and be less selfish and more helpful ... hehehe). So here's Drama Queen's Step-by-Step guide to how to start your fat-to-fit journey!


1. Invest in a journal
2. Hop on the weighing scale and make a note of your weight. (If you can, then also ask someone to measure your chest, waist, hips, thighs, calfs and bi-ceps. If not, don't worry about it. It's not a big deal)
3. Write down on daily basis every single thing you put in our mouth (religiously, like a crazy Jesus person!)
4. If your aim is to lose fat (you don't wanna lose weight, you wanna lose fat) then focus on cardio exercises for at least 40-60 minutes per day (5 days a week). Try and mix-match your exercises. Do a different machine everyday. If you run out of machines then try different speed & time on the same machines. Once you have done an exercise it will have less impact the next time you do it as our bodies are extremely resilient and hence adapt to the challenge quickly. The trick is to keep your body guessing.
5. If your aim it to tone your body and get more definition then focus on strength training with weights and resistance for 30 minutes every alternate day. If you have never done any weights before, I would honestly suggest you take help from a coach/trainer to guide you at least for 1 or 2 sessions. (I cannot possibly guide anyone over the internet, I don't even think I am qualified to do that yet!) It is a good idea to do weights at least 3 times a week even when your goal is fat loss so that you are toning simultaneously.
6. For my pointers on postures, please click here.
7. For my pointers on what to eat, please click here.
8. The basic science of losing weight (fat) is calorie in vs calorie out. You have to make sure you are burning more than you are consuming. So, for example, if an average female burns 2000 calories in a day and eats only 1500, she has formed a deficit of 500 calories. Once you have formed a deficit of 3500 calories you have lost 0.5kgs (approximately).


I would very humbly request everyone reading to never go on any diet that they cannot follow for the rest of their life or worse - starve themselves. Because if you do that you will only slow down your metabolism and hence burn less calories. Initially you might lose weight and think you are smarter than rest of the world and decide to starve yourself regardless of what everyone suggests. But guess what? One day your temptation will start calling and you shall fall off the fitness bandwagon and binge! (Been there, done that! Honestly!). Eat everything sensibly. You are not dying any time soon. You will have enough time to eat everything. You don't have to eat it all in one sitting. Eat small portions. Eat often. Don't eat after 7:00 pm (last meal should be at least 4 hours before going to bed).

However, if one day you do happen to lose control and eat a little more than you should have. Don't lose heart or give up. Wake up & Start again! That's what I have been doing for past 5 years. I hope I was of some help!

This & That

To all my silent readers (just came to my notice, because a lot of you told me personally that you are silent readers ... heheh caught you!), while I am highly obliged that you visit and hence increase my profile hits but I would reaaallllyyyy appreciate it even more if you made yourselves (and your opinions) heard, rather than just being silent! I know ... I know ... I said Silence is Golden, but that's only when we are face-to-face. Written communication doesn't count (and in my opinion is super rocking in comparison to vocal!).

Week 6 | Day 38 | 23rd September 2009

Day 37 - Spin my world


Photography by Juergen Roth

This & That

I was almost thinking of giving up on blogging altogether for few days (as I am starting to already get bored of it) but somehow the guilt creeps in. As if I am breaking my promise (which I don't remember making with anyone) or cheating all you people (huh?!? Weird!). It's no surprise though, as half the things in life I do out of guilt or obligation which I never understand why/how seeps in to my brain in the first place? Psycho analysis, anyone?

Fitness

I tried Spinning class (or RPM) in 2006, before that I had always seen people go crazy on a stationary bike but was too intimidated by the environment in the class to ever join it. Nevertheless, on an acquaintance's suggestion I tried the class and fell in love with it immediately. It is a fat-buster, people. You can easily burning anything from 500-1000 calories in an hour alone. You sweat like pig and it feel soooooooo good. However, one has to be very careful with their knees in this class. Sometimes if the resistance is high and you go all out you can damage your knees. Just an hour of spinning class can keep your spirits up for the whole day. Guaranteed!

Life

I had heard from someone ... somewhere ... (not very reliable source, you can already see) that either you have an easy/comfortable/etc. life in your younger years or when you get old. Well, I am sure there are some unfortunate people who never have an easy life, but let's just focus on average-mediocre-people here. I guess, whoever-told-me-this-anecdote-on-life (whom I clearly don't remember) was trying to tell me that you have to break-your-bones at some point in your life. So this random thought got me thinking that, if so far my life was full of bliss and things were simply handed down to me on platter ... I am surely in for some hard-work in the coming future. I mean, of course I have worked hard, got good grades and done my best with whatever situation I was in. But let's be honest, I have not had to put in my blood-and-sweat to do anything so far (luckily, working-out only involves sweat!). And something tells me I am in for some hard-core hard-work now. We just have to figure out what that is, though. Stomach In - Chest Out - Attention!

Week 6 | Day 37 | 22nd September 2009

Day 35 - Perfect Parents

Movies

I know that the Brad-Jen break-up is really passé but I have a good reason to bring this up, again (I Promise!). I saw "Love Happens" this weekend and really enjoyed Jen's presence in the movie. The movie was a sweet-romantic yet sentimental and dramatic at the same time. Experts say that either you are in the Jennifer-Camp or Angelina-Camp and I am definitely in Jen-Camp.

While Jennifer is evolving in to a nice-amicable-pretty-celebrity, Angelina is resembling a wacko-vampire-look-alike by each passing day. Her ever growing cult doesn't help her image either (babies-unlimited). Well, that's just my opinion, of course. I was never an Angelina fan to start with, although I did like her body in Lara Croft character and acting in a few of her movies.


P.S. I am not trying to be mean, but doesn't the character of Pam (The Wicked Vampire) from the HBO series of True Blood always remind of Anjelina Jolie (I think it's the similarity between the face structure of Kristin Bauer and Anjelina). What do you think?!>!?

Food

I am a big fan of mediterranean food. Firstly, there are a lot of healthy vegetarian options and secondly its delicious and satisfying (without making you feel stuffed). Well, there is no excuse for people who stuff their faces with Kebabs. I am only talking about sensible people here ... *big.grin* So whenever I crave a some good "outside" food, this is one of my top go-to-cuisines. Tabouleh Salad, Hummus, Grape Leaves (stuffed), and Cous Cous, are few of my favorite dishes!

Life

I am a total Daddy's girl. (My Daddy Best-est!) He is my safe zone, where life is beautiful, without tension or stress, where you know nothing will ever go wrong and all your troubles will melt away. I completely idolize him and think he is one of a kind on this earth. I haven't got around it yet, but someone ought to write a book on his life and his ideologies (which are unique). He is full of life and never looks back.

When I and my brother were growing up, we often joked, that even if we ever found out that we were adopted and our birth parents came to take us, we would tell him, "too bad ... better luck next time, coz we are very happy with our current parents." Except if they turned out of be like bizillionaires, in which case we will accept their inheritance and yet keep our own parents. (Win-Win for us!)

So obviously, I have spent my life trying to be as perfect as my parents. However, with age ... err ... I mean, as time passes by ... I want to only take what I can from them and yet have my own personality. There is no point in existing on this earth being someone else's "thought-doubles" (like how they have body-doubles in movies). I have my own set of thoughts, beliefs, ideologies, and I shall try to follow them, only hoping that my parents with be proud of the person I turn out to be. You see, time is passing by but I haven't grown up yet! :o)

This & That

Phew! Enough drama for today ... time to hit the bed ... and be ready for Veronica's torture first thing in the morning. Weekend Over.

Week 5 | Day 35 | 20th September 2009

Day 34 - Honestly ... about Posture!


Posture, Health, Aasna, Tanvii.com
Fitness

Improper posture, especially when walking, puts increased stress on your back and causes discomfort and damage. The key to good back posture is to keep the right amount of curve in your lower back.

Medical professionals suggest that a healthy back has three natural front-to-back curves that give the spine an "S" shape. Although there is much natural variation from person to person, too much curve (swayback) or too little curve (flat back) can result in problems. The right amount of curve is called the neutral position.

About 99% of people are not aware of how important it is to do every exercise in the correct posture to have the desired effect. Importance needs to be emphasized from the moment one decides to start their fitness regime. Due to a bad posture one can end up spending double the amount of time that might have required getting the 'result.' To attain the right posture comes with practice and can sometimes take years. Initially, one might even find it painful to correct their posture. But that is only due to the lifetime spent in crocked body positions (sitting/standing/moving).

Some basic pointers for correct postures:


• Always have your back straight. Imagine you are trying to hold a pencil between your shoulder blades.
• Chest up and out, belly always tucked in.
• Neck should always be held perpendicular to your shoulders.
• Your weight should be evenly distributed on both your feet.

It sounds much easier than it actually is but it is immensely important for a healthy and flexible body. The side effect of a good posture will be 100% impact of any exercise you do.

Life

So, in the previous post, I didn't actually complete my thought on ... honesty.

Besides, not being able to lie or be diplomatic (successfully) and hence choosing silence over empty conversations, I yet, believe strongly in the power of honesty. A lot of times it's not about what you say, but how you say it (and whom you say it to, sometimes :P).

I am from Hospitality Industry, and contrary to what everyone might like to believe, life in hotels & restaurants is not smooth or of top-notch-standards 24/7. Things go wrong all the time (linen doesn't arrive on time, staff is late, things breakdown, dishes get burnt). But I learnt early on in my career that if I explain honestly to the guest about what the problem was instead of cooking stories, the conversation will be much shorter and more amicable. I also had similar experience at job interviews. If I lacked in any area I honestly accepted it and that showed me in positive and earnest light (worked in my favor!). Plus, I escaped from the burden of remembering all the lies I might have cooked up. I think, in today's times we give very little weightiness to how much gravity honesty holds ... Think about it!

Week 5 | Day 34 | 19th September 2009
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